N.Y. Reports Record Daily Virus Cases as Cuomo Looks to 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported a new daily high of 13,422 cases of Covid-19 as he stressed the need to reopen the economy long before the majority of the population is vaccinated.

Of the nearly 155,000 tests conducted statewide on Tuesday, 8.66% were positive, including hot-spot areas. The state conducted fewer tests than it has in recent weeks, Cuomo said Wednesday.

“We’re still not seeing the testing volume that we did have,” Cuomo said. “So we’re getting a smaller subset of the people who are testing.”

About 203,000 New Yorkers have received the first dose of the vaccine. It may take a year to reach critical mass, and the state can’t keep the economy closed for that long, the governor said.

The state is testing a program that would allow businesses to stay open with rapid testing. The first pilot will be during the Buffalo Bills playoff game, when 6,700 people are allowed to attend in person, Cuomo said.

Cuomo noted that the Bills’ stadium is an outdoor venue, so it’s different than other businesses, but it’s a controlled space. If it works, the state will look to expand it to other businesses, he said. “This is really step one.”

“The challenge is going to be, yes we have a vaccine, but the vaccine will take months and months and months,” Cuomo said. “You cannot afford, on any level, to keep the economy closed until it hits critical mass.”

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 reached 7,892 in New York yesterday, and 144 fatalities were reported. The U.K. strain has not been found in the state, Cuomo said.

— With assistance by Luke McGrath

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